Application Process

Application Process

We believe in the value of a purposeful, holistic admissions process. That means that every part of your application is important to us as we learn more about your student. 

We look forward to getting to know you and your family through the application process and to welcoming our next class of students to The Northwest School!

The application season for the 2023-24 school year has ended. Openings may be available in some grade levels. If your family is considering an application to transfer mid-year, please email the admissions team or call 206-816-6032 so we can assist you.

Applicants can apply through Ravenna or through the Standard Application Online (SAO). When you are ready, click the Apply button to get started.

Application Deadlines:

  • Early Community Process (Preliminary Application): October 26, 2023
  • Early Community Process (Supplemental Materials): November 9, 2023
  • Middle School and Upper School standard process: January 11, 2024
1. Submit an Inquiry Form

To get started, submit an inquiry. Our admissions team will add you to our contact list, so you receive timely information to assist your decision and application process. We look forward to hearing from you!

2. Submit the Preliminary Application to Begin the Formal Application Process

You can complete your admissions application through either the Ravenna platform, or the Standard Application Online (SAO). To get started, create an online account, and complete the Preliminary Application.  

The Preliminary Application has two parts—an Application for Admission Form, and a non-refundable application fee. If the application fee presents a challenge for your family, please reach out to our admissions team to request a waiver. 

You can create your account and complete the Preliminary Application in less than 30 minutes. Upon completion of the Preliminary Application, you will see a list of required next steps, forms, documents, and deadlines in your online application portal. Once the Preliminary Application is processed by the admissions team, you will get access to complete the next steps of the application (see steps 3, 4, and 5 below). 

3. Schedule Interviews and Student Visit Day

For students to thrive in their new educational environment, it’s important to get a sense of daily life as a community member. We invite students and their parents/guardians to learn more about the Northwest experience through the required Interview and Student Visit Days application steps.

Interviews are hosted by Northwest faculty members, and include time for students and their families to ask questions. Requirements vary by grade level:

Interviews
  • Parent/Guardian Interviews - 6th – 8th grade applicants
  • Student Interviews - 7th - 12th grade applicants
Student Visit Day

Every student applicant is required to attend the student visit day, in-person or virtually. Students will experience mock classes, meet current students, learn more about the Northwest community, and join an optional tour of the school.

Pre-registration for both Interviews and Student Visit Days is required through Ravenna. Applicants using the SAO application portal are invited to contact the admissions team to sign up for your preferred date.

4. Request School Transcripts and Teacher Recommendations

Please request the submission of official school transcripts for the most recently completed two school years, 2022-23 and 2021-22. If your student has attended more than one school during this timeframe you will need to send a separate transcript request to all previous schools. Transcript requests can be completed through the online application portal. For Homeschool Applicants, we request additional information to better understand their learning program (see below). 

In addition, please request the submission of official school transcripts for the current 2023-24 school year as soon as they are available. Based on your current school’s evaluation periods, we understand that some records will be shared with us after the application deadline in Winter 2024. 

Additionally, we request completion of two teacher evaluations and one school administrator report. Guidance on who to request the evaluations from, and the request forms, are available through the application portal.  

5. Complete the Additional Application Forms

There are three written components of the application for your family to complete by the application deadline. By completing these written exercises, it allows us to learn more about your family and student.

The forms include:

  • Student Essay
  • Student Interests & Activities
  • Parent/Guardian Statement
6. Decision Notification

Admissions decisions are delivered on the following dates. Login to your Ravenna or SAO account for additional information.

  • Upper School Decision Release: Friday, February 23, 2024
  • Middle School Decision Release: Friday, March 22, 2024

Additional Information

Note About Standardized Testing for Admissions

In support of equity and access, The Northwest School will not require or accept standardized testing results such as the SSAT or ISEE at this time. Our admissions committee will continue to focus on academic transcripts, teacher recommendations, student essays, extracurricular interests, and community engagement.

Please note, to ensure absolute equity within the admissions process, members of the Admissions Committee will not have access to any SSAT or ISEE results, even from applicants who offer their scores. Should any questions arise throughout the admissions season, please email the admissions team or call 206-816-6032 so we can assist you.

Homeschool Applicants

For applicants who are applying from homeschool, we ask for some additional information to better understand your learning program. We ask that the coordinator(s) of your student's program create a brief overview of the program. We suggest inclusion of the following:

        • Goals of the program and educational philosophy 
        • Description of the approach to teaching and learning: 
        • Structure and timing of program
        • Links to curriculum and/or online course information
        • Important texts read/used
        • Types of assignments, projects, and volume of workload
        • If this was a cohort homeschool program, please include the number of students and grade levels
        • If you worked with a certificated teacher to provide your homeschool programming, please include teacher names and contact information
        • For the current year and two previous years: courses taken, topics covered, and any grades/grading scale, if one was used
        • A current year writing and math assessment
        • If student is a Washington state resident: A copy of the Annual Assessment or state standardized test score report, as required by the state of Washington for the years the student was homeschooled
        • If student is not a Washington state resident: Please include any state-mandated testing/assessments as applicable 

        A note on Teacher Evaluations: We require two teacher evaluations as a part of the application. We recommend at least one of the teacher evaluations is submitted by a non-family member whenever possible. Other recommenders to consider are coaches, tutors, mentors, or other adults in the student's life.

        International Applicants
        All in all, it was a surprisingly pleasant process, and I learned a lot throughout. NWS staff came across as professional, charismatic and engaging, which I appreciate very much. We are excited to start in the fall!
        – 2023 Parent Feedback

        Student Non-discrimination Policy

        The Northwest school admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.